Should EPISODE be 15+ instead?

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#165

Definitely! Episode should be a place that appeals to all writers, but I do have a few problems with the whole maturity argument:

  1. I feel like people use it as an excuse to represent serious, difficult issues in insensitive ways: “Well I did say that this was a mature story when I wrote a story encouraging women to remain with abusive boyfriends.”
  1. I feel like it’s a way for people to push people off who aren’t ‘old enough’ for their story: “it’s not my fault that I refuse to keep to the age range of Episode when I write my story. It’s Episode’s fault for not changing the age range so I can write what I want.”

  2. It seems like a copout in my opinion. Yes, there should be sections, but I think it’s the mark of a great writer to be able to work to a brief. Episode’s brief isn’t even that strict, really! It’s pretty much just “don’t write anything too adult”. Yes, any writer is 100% entitled to write whatever they please, but Episode, as a private organisation that gives us the right to use their service, also has a right to choose what their target audience is and what stories they want to represent and endorse. People seem to forget that, I think. Freedom does extend to Episode too!


#166

It’s almost like going to a youth club and doing some mature activities, then saying the youth club should be 15/18+ just so you can continue doing these mature activities.


#167

Totally agree with you, there has to be an in-between.


#168

Hey again, I’m back after being dead for eons. While you do make a good point, the reason I suggested this wasn’t so that we could ‘copout’ people, but it’s so younger audiences wouldn’t have to both be subjected to a wrongful conduct/thought process and then either spread that around by making stories about that wrongful conduct/thought. Take, for instance, sex before marriage, or sex underage. At first, everyone was against the idea and no one would even think about it, because it was wrong. Then when the idea got passed around that, ‘hey, its alright’ to the younger generation, those kids grew up and taught their own kids the idea, then, just about everyone thinks it’s alright. Of course, this is an extreme case, but how it became an extreme case, started out with younger ones falling victim to the idea and then passing it in until it became what it is today. EPISODE has that same type of power. Because it is 13+, and when you’re in your teenage years, you are more subjected to obsorbing information as truth and then sprouting it as such, this type of thing could happen again. In fact, these types of things are happening on EPISODE forums as we speak. There are entire topics relating to incest, step sibling relationships and underage sexual conduct. But why am I bringing this up? It’s because I have seen firsthand, the same thing that happened with the whole sex before marriage thing, happening again with my own eyes. Older people who have both been taught and know that something that is wrong, and younger people who have the belief that it’s alright, are clashing, one saying that it’s wrong, and the other that it’s right. But if there are less 10-13 year olds, then maybe it wouldn’t be as bad. I’m not saying that only 10-13 year olds are to blame, but for the sake and safety of, basically, their morals and their ‘childhood’, it would be best to not expose them to the weird and outright disturbing ‘facts’ that people are producing.

Anyway, just wanted to clear it up,
Cheers,
R


#169

I do partly agree with you too, but I think that’s also because sex before marriage is a social construct. Marriage is something humans made up as a symbol of relationships, to solidify a relationship spiritually, socially and legally. It made sense in the past when we didn’t have contraception because it would guarantee that we (roughly) know who the parents of each child are. However, with things changing, people are turning away from concepts like that because sex doesn’t necessarily mean children anymore. This is one of the topics I’m considering discussing in my History dissertation, as a religious person in the 21st Century, and I would love to discuss it with you in depth!

People often broadly say things like sex before marriage was “just wrong” without considering why or how that’s true. It’s partly because times change, and marriage means something different now to what it meant back then, unfortunately. I think it’s more that our perception of what’s wrong and what’s right has changed over the years, as opposed to people just telling younger people that something’s alright and people just accepting that. Science has changed our perceptions completely. I mean, once upon a time it was considered “okay” morally to have slaves. A lot has changed.


#170

At this point I think it ATLEAST should be 13+, since almost all of the featured stories are about bad boys, handsome teachers, sex, pregnancy, high school drama etc. Definitely not an app for young kids


#171

I am also pretty sure that lots of 13 year olds knows the difference between episode and reality. I mean, episode never had any affect on how I see the world.


#172

I would also like to debate with you one day, but unfortunately, today is not that day. It’s the middle of the night and I just saw this randomly after being woken up, so I’m not entirely ‘on’ right now. But my personal opinion and own beliefs, is that you should wait until after marriage, because, well, I’m a religious person, but also because it feels more ‘natural’ in a way for, I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m going to bed, sorry but I literally cannot think in the middle of the night and I’m most likely going to cringe in the morning reading this.

Cheers,
R.


#173

Yes, but to a learning and hormonal challenged teenager, social constructs are everything. It’s around the time where the ‘herd mentality’ is strongest (the strong urge humans get to ‘follow the crowd’), but not only that, they’re also finding themselves. What happens if a popular social media platform keeps spam telling them that a certain way of thinking, or an action is either right or wrong, due to herd mentality, and the inability to properly make decisions clearly, they’re more likely to believe it.

An easy example would be that over skinniness or anorexic women are ‘sexier’, this belief is most likely boosted by apps and social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and other alternative social situations/online platforms.

Whelp, I’m going to bed.

Cheers,
R.


#174

Reminds me of when the original (first)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie came out. The media was in a frenzy because it was “too violent for kids” and “should be rated R”. My father wouldn’t even let me see it. :man_shrugging:


#175

Well, I would want the youth club to be 15+ if they were doing mature activities, or kids in there were encouraging bad behavior or anything like that. (By the way, I have no idea whata youth club is, but I heard it in passing that it’s Catholic and for youths to hang out together so I’m just going along with this.) It’s surprising what length parents go to ensure their child’s safety, mentally and physically. (Also surprising how much some don’t care.) But I’ve been told I’m the kind of person that will either teach kids not to do what I’ve done in the past, and I’ve had the odd person saying that I’ll just ‘fall back to my old ways’ and my children will grow up criminals. So, I really don’t know what I’d do if my own child was in a youth club that did mature things, so I don’t really know what I’d do myself.

…wow, I have not woken up today.

Cheers,
R.


#176

That’s where we disagree. Youth clubs shouldn’t have to raise their age because some people want to abuse or refuse to follow guidelines. Otherwise, we could go around forcing anyone out of anything and changing it however we want. People should be sticking to the guidelines of the places they go to as opposed to changing them to match their desires. That’s why I think its much more a responsibility of writers to remember who they’re writing for as opposed to attempting to exclude young people from the app. Youth clubs aren’t just a Catholic thing. They’re basically just an organisation that provides activities and meetings for young people.


#177

Otherwise, people could just go to places aimed at young people, do inappropriate stuff and then say “well we made this a 15+ club now. Get out”, which is kinda what I’m afraid will happen on Episode


#178

Well, I said before, I had no idea what they were, they’re probably not that common where I am. But I don’t think that we should be comparing something like a youth club, which is an offline real world thing, and EPISODE, which is an online social media platform. The best thing about offline activities and clubs, is that it’s way easier to manage, kick people out when they’re misbehaving, and so on and so forth. But when you are online, that becomes more difficult. And unlike an offline group or community, we can’t just toss people out. It’s not that simple. So, it sort of falls onto us, not only as writers, but as older and supposedly wiser persons that have experience and have dealt with things like these before, to help the younger generation. Why do you think elderly people like to tell younger people stories? And again, we’re not just blatantly saying, “Alright, this is now 15+ get out”, we’re saying, “Alright, this place has gotten out of hand, messed up people are starting to teach messed up things to kids, so we’re going to offer a suggestion that will hopefully stop this from happening.” That’s all. When you’re 15, ompared to when you’re 13, it’s hell of a lot easier to see the rubbish than when you’re 13. It’s sort of like kid shows, when you get to a certain age, you just kinda think it’s trash.

Cheers,
R.


#179

The problem is that we might have to start worrying about people making places like this inappropriate on purpose. I mean, they could easily go on any young person’s story app and make a fuss, causing concerns about the age. Young people deserve somewhere online too!


#180

Yes, but if someone with the intent on making everyone’s lives difficult, or just wanted to troll came onto here, you can’t just tell them to leave. You could ban them, but they’ll just get another account and do this all over again. Although no place is truly safe from internet trolls, those types of people target various places that have specific requirements in mind. Sort of like a mental checklist. There’s less of a chance of having one on a mental disability sight or something like that, because most of them, while annoying, won’t be like THAT. But EPISODE is a placed riddled with kids. It’s the perfect place to stir up trouble. I have a friend that does these things 24/7, and even gets paid to do it (don’t ask me how I have no idea). They told me that they did at one point stir up a bit of trouble on EPISODE and said it was one of the best times they had trolling. In case you’re wondering why, the kids on there over-reacted. Of course, they aren’t on here now, and I won’t be giving out their name/username because even though they do these things, they’re an awesome friend. (Also, how do you get paid to stir up trouble?)

Anyway, the lesson we can learn from this is, trolls go even if you tell them to, it’s not like real life.

Cheers,
R.


#181

Also, totally agree with you on the whole ‘kids deserve to be online somwhere too’, but I can’t imagine a site run by kids, sorry, I just can’t.

Cheers,
R.


#182

No, I don’t think it should be run by kids, but I do think its our responsibility as writers to make sure our content fits the age range, as opposed to changing it to suit us.


#183

Look at Episode as it is today. You can’t delete every single story based around mature themes or content based on the sheer amount of them- hundreds, if not thousands- and every time the community has tried to request a change to the content, we get little to no response.

Episode has made it fairly clear based on their behavior that they won’t remove their mature content moneymakers. They even produce these themselves- would you want a kid reading My Teacher, My Gangster?! And you can’t tell every single user writer on what advertises itself as the world’s largest interactive storytelling platform to keep the age of the readers in mind. Many of them simply won’t listen and will continue to write the mature content they have been writing.

So if you can’t change the content, there’s pretty much one option left. Limit the younger readers from seeing it.


#184

I am a strong advocate for adding in sections. I think it’s extremely unfair to limit people who view the website just to us older people can have more “freedom”. We need to take responsibility for the fact that our writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum and realise that our freedom isn’t always the most important thing. I think sections are a step in the right direction in terms of creating a better atmosphere, but if we ban 13+ kids from coming on here, we’re setting a really awful precedent: we’re basically telling people that we can oust people out of a community if we don’t want to be respectful of them.

Pretty soon, that could even extend to people of alternate political, religious or general social views. It’s ridiculous in my opinion that we can actually conceive kicking younger readers off the app for our own selfish gains.